Persistent Friends: Episode 2

Jason P Stadtlander
Published on: August 2012
Jack and his friend Elaine sat in their little chairs twenty feet off the ground, inside the tree-house his father had built. Torrents of rain beat down on the shingled roof above. The two sat quietly, looking out the side portal facing Jack's home. The small space was filled with the pleasant smell of fresh cut grass, wooden planks and cool crisp rain.
They didn't need to speak. There was a comfort in the silence surrounding them; it was something Jack enjoyed-a friend who enjoyed solitude as much as he.

Jack looked over at Elaine. Her arms were propped on the sill of the window, her chin resting on top. "Want to play a game?" he asked.

Elaine turned to him and smiled. "Sure. What do you want to play?"

Jack stood up and walked over to the small bookcase next to the wall, and pulled out a deck of Fish cards. "Go Fish?"

"Okay," she said happily.

Jack dealt out five cards each and the two sat facing each other, eager to make matches. Elaine asked Jack for a shark. He had none. So she pulled a card from the pile, then looked over at Jack.

"Jack, why were those boys teasing you on the bus yesterday?"

Jack shrugged. "Do you have any starfish?"

"No," she replied, watching Jack pull a card from the pile. "What do you like to do at school?"

"I don't really like school very much. I usually just play on the playground or read a book. I like to read." Elaine's face lit up. "Me too!" "What do you like to read?", she asked without pausing .

Jack looked past Elaine, contemplating over his favorite books. "I like Amelia Bedelia-she's funny. Also the Gruffalo. My daddy does really good voices for the Gruffalo."

Elaine laughed. "I like her too! Amelia Bedelia is so silly!" Her laugh was so light-hearted it made Jack laugh too. Elaine added, "Did you read the one where she was asked to put out the lights . . ." She began giggling, "and Amelia took all the light bulbs out and hung them on the clothes line?"

Suddenly, the tiny redhead was laughing so hard she was crying. Her laughter was infectious and it made Jack laugh out with her. "Put them on a clothesline!" he repeated, laughing even harder.
The two children were now in a complete fit of giggles on the floor inside the tree-house, the Fish cards strewn all around them.

A few minutes later, they sat up, still laughing. Jack felt as he had never felt before-carefree and alive-living life as any child should was something he wasn't sure he had ever done before. How the friendship of a young girl named Elaine, could touch him so deeply was something he couldn't quite grasp, but he was happy to have her as a friend. And so the two sat, playing Go Fish, talking and giggling over other stories they had read.
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